Saturday, September 30, 2017

Treasures From England: Blue And White China

As I have mentioned on a couple of occasions on this blog, I have a special fondness for vintage and antique china. Somehow I rarely go to thrift stores here in America, but when I am in England, I hardly pass one without taking a look. More often than not I get lucky to pick up a piece that I really like for a very reasonable price. That happened again on our last vacation in England in June this year.

Today I would like to share with you some of the treasures that I found on that trip. I am focusing on Blue and White China, which I simply love. It never gets old, is always so fresh and classy, and you can mix and match pieces to your heart's content even though they aren't the same pattern or from the same maker.

I just want to disclose up front that I am not a "serious" or particularly knowledgeable collector, who acquires vintage and antique china for its monetary value. I simply buy what I find pretty and what I love and, of course, what I can afford.

So here is my haul, except the stack of plates that the creamer sits on. Those are from my stash and I just used them to create a more interesting still life for the photo.

It is hard to say, but I think my favorite pieces are the little creamer with the matching sugar bowl. I found them in a thrift store in Winchcombe together with some other nice more colorful vintage china pieces. The sugar bowl is only about 2 1/4 inches high and the creamer measures about 3 inches. Both pieces are in very good vintage condition with no chips or cracks.

Both, the creamer and the sugar bowl, are marked and I love the romantic name "Juliet" of the pattern. Because I was curious, I did a quick Google search, but couldn't pinpoint the age or today's value of the pieces. Anyway, I like the interesting and often very beautiful marks of the china almost as much as the patterns themselves.

What I absolutely love about the sugar bowl is this blue rose on the inside of the bowl. I think that this is totally adorable.

I like to display, but also use my vintage china for even greater enjoyment. The little creamer, besides holding milk, of course, would be perfect as a vase for flower posies from my garden. My husband and I don't use sugar for our tea or coffee, but the sugar bowl will come in handy holding some cookies or chocolates to go with it.

I think these three pieces make such a nice grouping.

The small (bread?) plate measures 7 1/2 inches in diameter and is in very good vintage condition with no chips or cracks. I will most likely hang it on the wall in our kitchen together with some other Blue and White China plates, that I already own. 

The plate is also marked. And no, I didn't take a blurry picture, the mark simply looks like this. Another quick internet search on this piece came up with very inconclusive results, except that the Jewel pattern was once very popular and produced by different makers. 

Last up is the little blue and white ginger jar. This one I bought at a section of the gift shop at Sudeley Castle where vintage and antique goods were sold by a dealer. The jar is very small, only about 3 3/4 inches tall, and is not marked. It has some crazing on the bottom and around the neck, which is covered by the lit.

Honestly, I assume that it is a new inexpensive piece produced in China. But I don't care, the price was right and it is a wonderful souvenir reminding us of our visit at Sudeley Castle. By the way, the castle had an absolutely wonderful garden surrounding it, which I intend to blog about in the future.

The little jar is decorated with three different kinds of flowers. The first one you already saw in the picture above, then this pattern shows up on two sides of the jar,...

...and then there is this flower pattern. I can't explain why, but I simply love this little jar to pieces. I most likely will display it on a shelf or our mantel, but also intend to use it as a small pretty vase. But before that, I have to test, if it is watertight.

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my china treasures from England. In case you have some knowledge about the age and/or the value of the pieces that I featured in this post, please share it in a comment. It would be fun to find out more about these little treasures.

Inspired by my finds in England I will try to take a look at some thrift stores here in San Diego and see what they have to offer. How about you? Are you checking out your local thrift stores in search for beautiful china? Did you get lucky and found some nice pieces?

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you liked today's post, next time I will continue with a garden-related topic again.

Wishing everyone a nice rest of the weekend!

Warm regards,


I am linking up to 
Rustic & Refined - Dishing It & Digging It  //  Dwellings - The Heart of Your Home - Amaze Me Monday  //  Between Naps On The Porch - Metamorphosis Monday  //  Cedar Hill Farmhouse - The Scoop  //  Sweet Sensations - Celebrate Your Story  //  A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday  //  Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays  //  21 Rosemary Lane - Share Your Style  //  A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday  //  My Thrift Store Addiction - Vintage Charm  //  Eclectic Red Barn - Thursday Favorite Things  //  French Country Cottage - Feathered  Nest Friday //  Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup  //  Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday & Everything Else  //  Shabby Art Boutique - Create, Bake, Grow & Gather  //  How Sweet The Sound - "Anything Goes" Pink Saturday  //  My Soulful Home - Sundays at Home  //

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Kiftsgate Court Gardens, England I

It is hard to believe for me that over two months have passed since I posted last time and I would like to apologize to all readers who came here only to find that there is still nothing new. An important and very time-consuming work-related project and a trip to New Mexico came into the way of blogging. But the project is now successfully completed and I am back home since yesterday.

In the meantime, autumn has come and I hope with that, calmer days which will leave me more time to post regularly again. The good thing for me is though, that through an interruption like this I realized once more how much I love blogging and how much I missed it.

I was really looking forward to writing today's post for quite some time now. I am taking you to Kiftsgate Court Gardens, a wonderful garden located very close to the famous Hidcote Manor Garden (about which I blogged here) in the Cotswolds, in England, which we visited during our vacation in June this year. I simply love this garden and I hope if you aren't already, you will fall in love with it, too.

One thing that is special about this garden is that it was created by three generations of female gardeners: Heather Muir, Diany Binny and Anne Chambers, who have developed a very distinct feminine and romantic style in parts of this large garden. In the photo above you see the area of the garden which is called the Four Squares and Terrace which I will be showing in more detail further down in this blog post.

But let's start right from the beginning. This is the first impression that you get from Kiftsgate Court Gardens. Tables painted in Kiftsgates signature blue filled to the brim with lovely plants that are for sale. You can't imagine how much I regretted not being able to buy anything, but it is strictly forbidden to import plants into the US. You acquire your ticket from a person that sits where the sun umbrella is and then you walk around the left corner of the house... see this charming scene. The climbing rose is just lovely and beautifies the entry to the small cafe where you can get a simple lunch, tea or coffee and an assortment of scones and cakes and other refreshments. But that is for later.

Already when you look down at the small beds by the house in this area you know you are in for something special. They are so well thought out and planted with such a nice variety of well cared for plants.

When you continue to go around the house and look to the right you get a first glimpse of the part called Four Squares and Terrace.

But before I take you there, I want to stop at this small red border which I think is masterfully planted. I really like the combination of the red roses, the purple smoke bush and the fresh green of the other plants.

Close-up of the beautiful smoke bush.

Lovely red rose from this section of the garden.

The contrast of leave colors, textures, and shapes is quite interesting.

Does anyone know what plant this is?

Looking at the small red border from a little further away.

And from another angle.

From the red border, you can look down to the Terrace which is more formal, but very pleasing as well. Love the stone garden bench. What a treasure! The view from the Terrace into the countryside is quite spectacular, but unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of it.

On this photo, you can see that the low walls in this part of the garden are covered with chicken wire, which gives the climbing plants something to hold onto to conquer the otherwise slippery gray stone walls.

Now we are entering the beforementioned area called The Four Squares, consisting of four rectangular beds. The abundance of plants here is quite mind-boggling. The beds are filled to the brim with roses, perennials and interesting shrubs. To me, this is the garden of my dreams!

Some of the roses there had the most unusual colors. Like the one on the photo above. They must have had heavy rains before our visit, hence some of the blooms are a little spoiled, but they are still incredibly beautiful to me.

The design is strictly geometrical in this part of the garden, which brings a sense of calm to the densely planted flower beds.

Another special rose that caught my eye.

Even though it doesn't make for the prettiest photo I love the fact that someone took the time to stake the canes of the roses individually. Labor of love!

Classic design and a beautiful sundial. The gray stone paths let this area look quite elegant.

I love this assortment of roses in mauve, tan, brown and lavender and anything in between here.

The fascinating color combinations more up close. The blue accompanies the lavender, mauve, and light lavender so well.

The dark purple eye makes this rose quite interesting. 

No matter where you look in this area the plant and color combinations are all exquisite. Here I especially like the clear blue flowering plants.

Opulent white peonies and dainty blue flowers create magic together.

One of the many lovely roses planted in this area.

Most of the peonies were slightly past their prime when we visited, but that had its own charm.

Aren't they still beautiful?

Another very charming flower combination.

And the last photo features another very charming single rose.

For today I will end this post since it has gotten already quite long, but there is much more to see in this garden so there will be more entries about Kiftsgate Court Gardens on this blog. I hope you come back for future posts. 

I just want to mention that even though I have not been able to blog regularly, I have been posting photos almost daily on my relatively new Instagram account. So if you are interested and you missed what I have been up to there, please click on the link. 

Wishing everyone a beautiful, fresh, new week. Here in San Diego, the temperatures have finally come down and I can't wait to be able to do some real gardening again and not just spend the days trying to keep up with the watering and deadheading.

See you in the garden!

Warm regards,


I am linking up to 
Rustic & Refined - Dishing It & Digging It  //   Dwellings - The Heart of Your Home - Amaze Me Monday  //  Between Naps On The Porch - Metamorphosis Monday  //  Cedar Hill Farmhouse - The Scoop  //  A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday  //  Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays  //  A Southern Daydreamer - Outdoor Wednesday  //  Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup  //  A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday  //  Eclectic Red Barn - Thursday Favorite Things  //  French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday  //  Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday and Everything Else  //  Shabby Art Boutique - Create, Bake, Grow & Gather  // How Seet The Sound - "Anything Goes" Pink Saturday  //  My Soulful Home - Sundays at Home  //  Sweet Sensations - Celebrate Your Story  //  21 Rosemary Lane - Share Your Style  //